On Jan. 22, Gary MacNamara, Executive Director of Public Safety and Government Affairs, sent out an email about the impending winter snow storm that hit the East Coast on Jan. 29 causing residents to be buried in snow.
“The university regularly monitors weather events to evaluate the potential impact and time. In this case, we convened our Emergency Management Team to determine impact,” said MacNamara. “Our first priority is safety and student services. Our residential life team was staffed to manage each hall, we worked with Chartwells to ensure food service was provided and made contingencies in case students were unable to travel to the Park Avenue campus for food during the latter part of the day.”
The decision to cancel many classes and events was not made lightly. It was imperative to guarantee the safety of all students, faculty and staff on and off-campus.
“Other departments such as residential life, I.T., shuttle operations, communications, the provost and even Dr. Petillo are all present and engaged in these meetings to ensure operations are being conducted as close to normal as they can be,” said MacNamara.
As a result of the storm, some students have faced many hazardous conditions, including issues with ice and snow.
“I think the school could have done a better job at shoveling pathways,” said junior Madison Kamme.”
“I understand it is hard to shovel when some snow is still accumulating, but all of the pathways in the courtyard were snowy and icy which made for dangerous conditions.”
Students who live off-campus had more of a learning curve as the first snowstorm of the semester hit their homes.
“Some neighbors did not move their cars and the road in front of our house was not plowed, so we couldn’t move our cars to park in the street,” said senior Sophia DeFalco.
While Public Safety took many safety precautions for students, they should still be prepared for other weather-related events that may impact travel and be ready for potential power outages.
“Students living off-campus in rental properties for the most part have the facilities to cook and stock up on food,” said MacNamara. “We did remind them to get vehicles off the road if in violation of Bridgeport snow emergency rules. We also did allow a small number to relocate vehicles on-campus if they had no off-road parking.”
“When reports come in of potential bad weather, stock up on snacks and ensure phones are charged,” said MacNamara. “Also, pay attention to emails and alerts coming from campus in case conditions change, and our response needs to change as well.”
Colleen Shaffer contributed to this article.